Maiden wind power project in private sector
The government yesterday approved a proposal to set up a 55-megawatt wind power plant in Bagerhat, a move that may give a much-needed fillip to its efforts to tap the country’s unrealised renewable energy potential.The cabinet committee on purchase gave its consent to the proposal from a Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium to set up the plant on a build-own-operate basis under a contract with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).The BPDB will buy electricity from the plant at a tariff of $13.20 cents, or Tk 10.56 per kilowatt-hour unit for 20 years, Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, additional secretary of the cabinet division, told reporters after the cabinet meeting. The consortium was the lone bidder for the project, said a BPDB official. The Installed capacity for renewable energy stands at 650.53 MW with solar energy accounting for 416MW and hydropower 230MW.For wind speeds of 5.75-7.75 m/s, there are more than 20,000 square kilometres of land with a gross wind potential of more than 30,000MW. The BPDB signed a contract in March 2015 to award a 60MW wind power project to US-DK Green Energy (BD), a joint venture of Taylor Engineering Group of the US, PH Consulting Group of Denmark and Multiplex Green Energy of Bangladesh, to set up the plant at Kurushkul in Cox’s Bazar.The state-run Rural Power Company is working to set up a 10MW plant in Kalapara of Patuakhali. The plant is scheduled to begin electricity generation on December 31, 2022.
Govt to import 50,000 tonnes of rice
The government yesterday gave its nod to a proposal to buy 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from abroad as part of its effort to augment public food stock. The initiative also aims at helping the government intervene in the market through social safety net schemes to curb volatility in the price of the staple. Indian company Rika Global Impex Ltd got the contract to supply the food grain at $404 per tonne, said Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, additional secretary of the cabinet division, after a meeting of the cabinet committee on purchase. In the local currency, the price will be Tk 34.28 each kilogram. Law Minister AnisulHuq chaired the meeting. The Indian supplier was the lowest bidder. The highest bid was $423.95 per tonne, said an official of the food ministry.In the first phase, it plans to buy 300,000 tonnes of rice out of a target of up to 5 lakh tonnes to replenish the public food stock, said Food Secretary MosammatNazmanaraKhanum earlier this week. As of December 7, the stock of foodgrains in the state-run warehouses was 7.9 lakh tonnes, down 43 per cent from 13.87 lakh tonnes on the same day a year ago, food ministry data showed. Until the date, the Directorate of Food has managed to buy only 53 tonnes of paddy out of its target of 200,000 tonnes from local growers.When it comes to rice, it has been able to procure 3,476 tonnes from millers out of 600,000 tonnes targeted.
HSBC launches 2nd edition of business excellence awards
HSBC has launched the second edition of “HSBC Business Excellence Awards” to recognise and honour business enterprises and entrepreneurs from Bangladesh for their contribution towards sustainable economic growth.These awards aim to acknowledge thriving businesses in Bangladesh and enable them to connect with high growth global opportunities — something HSBC has been doing for 155 years around the world. The first one of the eight categories of this year’s awards is for garment units with annual export turnover of $50 million and above. The second category is for supply chain and backward linkage industries with annual export turnover of $10 million and above while non-traditional and emerging sectors with turnover of $3 million and above will belong to the third group. The fourth category is for best in import substitution reducing or substituting imports to a value of $10 million and above. The fifth category is for the leader in inbound investment and infrastructure foreign investment in the form of capital, technology solution etc.Adjudication will be done by a jury board comprising members from the HSBC senior management team, the ministry and the high commission. Winners will be selected based on aspects such as, annual contribution to the national exports and economy, diversity, responsibility, sustainable business practices, governance strengths, regulatory compliance etc. The nomination forms and other details of the programme are now available at HSBC’s Bangladesh website and the nomination phase will remain open until January 28, 2021.
Govt takes $40m infrastructure project for exporters
The government yesterday launched a Public Investment Facility for Infrastructure Constraints (Pific) project to provide infrastructure support to hundreds of export-oriented firms. Commerce Minister TipuMunshi launched the $40 million project through a virtual meeting, to facilitate the light engineering, plastics, leather and leather goods, footwear and any other sectors which need such support.The government will support some 20 potential export-oriented sectors, create jobs and fuel exports as part of a plan to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It will also develop waste management facility, recycling centres, power transmission, telecom connectivity lab services and warehouse facilities, according to project papers. However, all these infrastructure facilities would be built upon applications by the potential beneficiaries in any industrial cluster areas. For instance, there is a big cluster of 50,000 light-engineering firms only at the Dholaikhal area in Dhaka.Currently, Bangladesh exports over $950 million worth of plastics products a year. He said a separate plastic industrial park was going to be built at Keraniganj area as the demand for the plastic goods from both local and international buyers were increasing.Last year, it missed the $1 billion-mark because of the shifting of tanneries from Dhaka’s Hazaribagh to Savar Tannery Industrial Estate.Pharmaceuticals, jute and jute goods and leather goods sectors also have the potential to grow big like the garment sector.
Ibrahim Khaled joins Pubali Bank as independent director
Prominent banker, economist and former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled has joined Pubali Bank as an independent director. He was the managing director of Pubali Bank from 2001 to 2006. Khaled has been associated with the banking system of Bangladesh for nearly six decades. He was the deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank from 1998 to 2001. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors of Bangladesh Krishi Bank. He has been the director, president of the executive council and a member of the trustee board of the Central Kachi-KancharMela since 2000.